Total Lunar Eclipses are fairly regular phenomena but the Total Lunar Eclipse 2019 was the last one for a few years. It occurred during a Supermoon at closest approach to the Earth, and the Moon in January is often called a “Wolf Moon”. A Total Lunar Eclipse is also called a “Blood Moon”. So this one was imaginatively called a Super Wolf Blood Moon.
Here in the UK the weather was as unpredictable as ever, but Scope Nights did a decent job of the forecast and I was up early ready for the clouds and mist. Sure enough, there was patchy cloud and low lying mist, so I was glad to have time to setup and align my scope. As it was a Wolf Moon, there were the obligatory dogs barking and howling, they must have known something.
Fortunately at the start of totality, the sky remained clear to the West and I managed a quick photo through my telescope. Fifteen minutes later it was gone, and the Moon sank into the murk. If it had been in the English countryside with roaming stags, hooting owls and rolling mist, it would have been quite ethereal. But it wasn’t quite so mystical on a large housing estate in suburban Liverpool blinded by street lights.
Anyway, my reward for getting up at 3am was a fairly decent photo through my scope, albeit slightly rushed. Still, I was fairly lucky as most people in England had a lot more cloud and were disappointed, especially when they’d got up so early on a freezing Monday morning in the middle of winter.
I particularly liked this lunar eclipse photo, as the neodymium filter seems to have worked well in bringing out the shades of red in the umbra. I’ve only applied subtle processing in Luminar and have used daylight white balance and not changed any of the colours at all. I’ve just lifted the exposure and contrast and reduced the saturation slightly.
Can’t wait for the next total lunar eclipse, fingers crossed the weather’s a bit warmer and the skies are a bit clearer!
Equipment: Panasonic Lumix G80 camera, Baader Neodymium Filter, Explore Scientific 102mm F/7 Triplet ED APO Refractor, Celestron AVX Mount. Exposure: ISO800, 1.0 sec. Software: Luminar 3.
Here’s the final processed image, having spent more time improving the contrast and detail in the image and trying to retain the original colours…